Microsoft unveils plans to monetize Bing Chat
Bing Chat is a tremendous success for Microsoft. The service is used by millions of users and it has driven a lot of new users to Microsoft's Bing platform. It was clear that companies like Microsoft or Google see their AI products as opportunities to increase revenue.
Microsoft lifted the veil on its monetization plans yesterday on the official Bing Blog. Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President & Consumer Marketing Office at Microsoft, provides an early glimpse of Microsoft's plans to monetize Bing Chat.
The analysis of interaction with Bing Chat shows that Bing Chat "is driving more traffic from all types of users". Microsoft is seeing increased usage, and the company believes that website publishers are also benefitting from this through the source links and citations that Bing Chat displays below its answers.
All in all, Microsoft is exploring the following three options on Bing Chat:
- Create an "expanded hover experience" for links to give "users more ways to engage" and drive "more traffic to the publisher's website".
- Allow the 7500 Microsoft Start partners to place "rich caption of Microsoft Start licensed content besides the chat answer" to help "drive more user engagement with the content on Microsoft Start". Microsoft shares revenue on Microsoft Start with its partners.
- Placing ads in the chat experience to share "ad revenue with partners whose content contributed to the chat response".
Microsoft shared a single mockup screenshot of how the expanded hover experience could look like.
It is unclear how the two other options will look like on Bing Chat, but the coming weeks and months will likely provide an answer to that.
The most impactful change from a user perspective is the placing of advertisement "in the chat experience". Whether that means adding ads as text links to responses that Bing Chat gives or placing them next to the responses is not clear at this stage.
Ads will certainly be marked as such, but it still remains to be seen how these will look like once they roll out to the public.
Users may also wonder whether content blockers will be able to block these ads from appearing in Bing Chat. There is no definitive answer for that at this stage, as it is unclear how ads will be delivered and displayed in Bing Chat.
OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, which powers Bing Chat, announced support for plugins recently, which also introduce opportunities to monetize content.
Advertisement will come to Bing Chat and many other AI-powered services very soon, there is no doubt about that. While companies may not have definitive answers yet in regards to how the advertisement will be integrated, it is clear that these systems will be monetized. It remains to be seen whether this will be done in a user-friendly way, by clearly separating ads from content, or not.
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